A jogger ran into this evening. Literally.
It happened while we were on our way home from a fast-food dinner. My husband had just stopped our car at the intersection of Northwest 18th and Walker. We had almost cleared Walker when out of nowhere, a jogger sideswiped us. He hit our front driver’s side window with enough force to shake our moving car, leaving an imprint of his sweaty forearm.
“What was that?,” I said.
My husband replied. “Someone ran into the side of us.”
My husband pulled our car to the curb. We stopped directly in front of the first house on the north side of the block. My husband rolled down the window to talk with the runner.
“What? Is he okay? Where is he?” When excited, one question never does it for me.
Looking into his rear view mirror, my husband said, “He’s behind us.”
The runner was busy taking a photo of our vehicle license plate. He didn’t make us wait long. The runner jogged back to the rolled down window, and while continuing to jog in place, started yelling and cursing at my husband.
He began by accusing my husband for f—king running the stop sign. My husband said, “I did stop. Did you? You also had a stop sign.” My husband pointed his hand at the four-way stop sign at the intersection. Before crossing 18th Street, the runner should have stopped.
The runner replied, “Pedestrians don’t have to f—ing stop at stop signs.”
The runner was young. Mid to late twenties, maybe. Definitely hot and sweaty. He may have been tired. By the looks of his ear phones, perhaps he was distracted by whatever device he was listening to. Was it an I-phone? Maybe. It was probably the same device he used to snap that quick photo of our license plate.
Had the runner not been tired and distracted, surely he would have realized that it was he that ran into us. Not the other way around, as the young runner accused. Our car doesn’t travel sideways. Had we hit him, the runner would have been hit by the front of our car.
After a few more cross words, the jogger ran off into the night, continuing his northerly path up Walker Avenue, seeming no worse for his running into us. By the speed at which he left us, nothing appeared to be injured. Other than his pride.
I hope he makes it home okay; he was wearing hard-to-see dark jogging attire. Black, I think. It would be so easy for any car to hit him — he blends so well with the night. His parting shot was that he’d be “in touch.”
Was it his words or his tone that I found so ominous? All that searing. Raw emotion. Accusations. It leaves me feeling threatened. Shaken. So sideswiped by his words.
Still, I’m thankful he wasn’t hurt. If only “our” jogger could feel the same.
Oh, my. You didn’t call the police, right then and there? I would have. I suppose you don’t need to hear this, but that’s one of the oldest tricks in the book here in Houston, Whether it’s car, bicycle or jogger – goes by all kinds of names, but they run into you and then claim you were responsible.
Well, as you say, since he only hit you on the side, then you’re probably home free. Hard to hit someone with the side of your car when running a stop sign!
I suppose the truth is that all that flailing around was bravado. After all, wouldn’t YOU feel pretty stupid if you ran into someone and you were on foot?! I sure would. He was zoned out to his music or just distracted and WHAM!
I’ve been trying to think – I believe I’ve heard of such a thing maybe a half dozen times. Maybe more. And yes, bicyclists and joggers and pedestrians are supposed to obey traffic laws.
We’ll hope a nice shower and a little reflection cooled him down. And I hope you’re calmed down, and having a terrific 4th!
Call the police? No, that would have required coherent thinking. And that was beyond me at the point of impact. It took placing myself in front of my laptop to sort through and pull together what had just happened to us.
I wish I had your presence of mind in a crisis. But that, unfortunately, is not who I am. But I’m glad you planted the seed — the thought will be there next time something like this happens.
As I was unwinding thoughts of the “collision”, I did wonder whether his running into was intentional, as I could see how, with litigation and insurance, it could become a profitable past time for some.
But in our case, I believe it was genuine distraction. And shame. The young man was ashamed and embarrassed for having his head up in the clouds and he took it out on us. How dare we be in his direct path, even if he did break traffic laws and ignore safety guidelines for nighttime pedestrian activities — dark rather than reflective clothing, for instance.
I woke up yesterday remembering a friend of mine — a co-worker really, who was jogging on the shoulder of FM 517 in League City. He was killed on impact, when he stepped out of the shoulder into the direct path of an oncoming car. March 1994.
Chuck “paid” for his mistake; where on Saturday, my husband and I paid for our young runner’s mistake, as we endured his tongue-lashing. And of course, I wouldn’t have “it” any other way.
By the time last night was here, thoughts of our young runner were gone. We’ve not heard from the police, so I’m guessing he did cool down as we both hoped he would. With all of our children out-of-town, we shared our traditional grill with my in-laws; then after they left, we settled in for a traditional viewing of the movie Independence Day, where once again, the Americans save the day for the world by beating up on the aliens who’ve collided with our world. What would we do without those lovely Hollywood endings, where the “good guys” win?
Hope your 4th was happy and a little drier than ours.
Gosh, Janelle, 517 is my neighborhood. Back in ’94, that was a dark and pretty undeveloped road – I’m so sorry to hear about that. I was living over on Nasa I at the time, so wasn’t so attuned to events here.
I’m glad nothing more came of the situation. The best result of all would be our young friend being a little more attentive. It never occured to me until today that he may have been scared, too.
Well, it sounds like your weekend turned out great. We had torrential downpours Thursday-Saturday, and then we sent them on to you!
So, it’s midnight, and I’m sitting here playing one game of freecell before bed, and listening to the radio.
The news comes on, and suddenly I’m listening to a report about a new traffic hazard – distracted pedestrians. It seems there’s a growing concern about people who are stepping in front of cars and walking into the sides of buses and such because they’re either texting or engaged in bluetooth conversations.
So there you are. You’re on the cutting edge of the next American phenomenon! Couldn’t believe I was hearing it.
My favorite part of League City is the downtown area — I recall a gazebo and quaint wooden buildings around a city center. And of course, those gorgeous huge trees, that seem to grow only on the coast. But for the life of me, I can’t recall the FM that this downtown sits on — is it just a bit further down the road from the Baybrook Mall turn off and just before the Kemah wonderland? Only four years gone, and my mind already is, at least in the lay of the land in coastal Texas.
Regarding your midnight reflections, I’ve never been on the “cutting edge” of anything in my life — at least, not to my knowledge and intention. But funny that you should use those exact words. I attended a memorial service last week of a woman I didn’t know personally, yet felt as if I did. Her husband is director of the spirituality centre where I undertook training for spiritual direction — so I’ve breathed many prayers for this woman, who lost her 5 year battle with cancer last Monday.
The service was wonderful, uplifting as much as a memorial service can be, as those attending her “last rites”, attended them with great love. The primary “attender” was a friend of the woman who died — a pastor of our church — and she did a fine job of giving me an insider’s glimpse of who this lovely woman was. The pastor said that Marcy packed a lot of life into her life — and that one of her favorite sayings was that “if you weren’t living on the edge, you were taking up too much space.”
I’m not sure whether the saying was Marcy’s own — or whether it was said by another, and adopted by Marcy as her own. Either way, the words have been working on me. What they will grow into remains to be seen. As always, our lives and the time clock will tell.
Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said:
I’m so glad you were all okay, but the world is full of good and dear people while being populated by those of the other ilk. I think the raw language is some of the worst.~~Dee
Going south on the Gulf Freeway, you pass Bay Area Blvd (Baybrook Mall) and then Nasa Rd 1. The next exit is 518. Turn left under the freeway and it takes you directly to the Gazebo, the trees and so on. There is a gorgeous new garden park about a block from the gazebo now, put in after Ike.
If you keep going east you’ll come to a funny intersection with 5 roads coming together. 518 continues east but turns into 2094 and runs straight down to Kemah, the Bay and the Boardwalk and marinas. (You can see my place from 2094).
If you keep going south on the Gulf Freeway, your next major exit is 517. That’s the Dickinson area. If you get off on 517 and go east (and east and east) you’ll end up over in San Leon, where you will find the Topwater Grill, and the best seafood in the area – they have their own fishing boats. Ymmmmmmm!
Yes. As you say, I’m thankful no one was hurt. And now, almost a week later, the harshness of our runner’s verbal attack has faded into unimportant history.
But your words make me realize, that in an entirely different setting, I’m sure I’d find our young runner charming — which serves as a reminder to me, that I too am a mixed bag — sometimes “good,” somethings not — though I can’t recall ever cursing anyone as our runner did to us.
My only rich memory of cursing was born when I was in labor with my first child — my then husband told me I cussed like a sailor! So given the “right” circumstances, I too have left what I hope is a faulty impression of who I am.
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to all this rain, I say ‘enough is enough…’ — though my gardens sure seem happy. No one waters quite like God.
Now you’ve gone and done it. I’m hungry for Gulf Coast shrimp. Living in land-locked OKC, it looks like I’ll be pulling out some of our frozen Gulf Coast shrimp and having a shrimp fry this weekend. Thank goodness, I have my friend Wynona’s great recipe.
Thanks for the road geography reminder. Coming up from Lake Jackson, we traveled HWY 36 through Alvin, turned at FM 518, which was our gateway to Baybrook Mall, the quaint downtown of League City and Kemah, even before it became a wonderland. Next time we come — and who knows when that will be — maybe we can try the Topwater Grill. I like the sounds of it.